When we think of meditation, it’s usually someone sitting cross-legged with their hands on their knees, maybe muttering a chant, or sitting alone in a field. Meditation is sometimes regarded as something far-fetched and out of our reach. The thought of sitting alone for hours without thinking about anything can be really daunting. Meditation in fact is simply the concept of a mentally calm and stable state by being aware of the present moment, and this can be achieved in many different ways.
The most popular types of meditation are mindfulness; spiritual; focused; movement; mantra; transcendental; and progressive relaxation. Each one is unique in its practice and requires different skills and mindsets. Between these different practices, you should find which one feels most comfortable and natural to you, as that’s the one that will help you achieve the desired effect. Mindfulness meditation is about paying attention to your thoughts and being aware of your breath, bodily sensations, and feelings, it’s about being solely in the present. Focussed meditation, however, involves concentrating on only one of the five senses, such as counting something or staring at a flame. Mantra meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind, quite prominent in many teachings.
Transcendental meditation also involves the use of a mantra to induce a calm and peaceful mind, this is best taught by a certified practitioner. Spiritual meditation focuses on developing a spiritual/religious connection with a higher power, and movement meditation are more physical, with gentle things such as walking or tai chi. Progressive relaxation is less passive, whereby you slowly tighten and relax one muscle group at a time, slowly reducing tension in the body. Meditation connects the body and breath and has been shown to even alter consciousness. Not only is it seen as something spiritual in many religions, but there are also numerous different health benefits, both physical and psychological. It has been shown to help prove productivity, focus, and attention, as well as boost immunity and reduce stress. By creating a sense of peace, calm and inner harmony, meditating even for a short amount of time a day, might be the solution to many troubles in today’s busy pace of life.